Mini Review: The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson

thechaosoflongingThe Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson

My Rating: 2.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: May 31st, 2016

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Pages: 118 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: The Chaos of Longing is a prose and poetry collection draped in raw honesty, ache, and eroticism. The collection explores trauma, love, heartbreak, and the realizations from it all.

The book is divided into four sections. “Inception” briefly examines formative years and its effects on how one loves. “Longing” reflects on love and sexuality. “Chaos” explores toxic relationships, unrequited love, and heartache. After chaos, there is order with self-love and healing poems in “epiphany”.

Some content may be triggering.

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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is a spoiler-free review.

I always say, poetry is extremely subjective and hard to review, as it will touch each and every reader in a completely unique way. Not every collection or poet will strike the right note with every reader, and this ended up being the case for me with these poems. This was one of those situations where I could appreciate the talent of the author, but the topics and their presentation were just not for me. However, despite my personal experience with these poems, I can easily see how they could deeply impact a reader.

These poems are brave, raw, and powerful. They are incredibly intimate and portray both human weakness and the strength that can come out in one’s most vulnerable moments. The collection as a whole is a journey from naivety, through the torment and battering that life and love can inflict on one’s heart and soul, and ending where healing begins.

Robinson paints a vivid and candid retrospective on self-image and self-discovery—she exposes the full depth of the painful, open wounds that slowly close over time. Not only does she display the torment that one may go through when they let down their defenses in favor of passion, but also the triumph of courage gained from accepting who we are and the decisions we make. Ultimately, this collection is not only her story, but also a stark and uninhibited portrait of what it is like to be human.

Even though I didn’t quite connect with this particular work and the subject matter, I still found the beauty in Robinson’s writing and delicate crafting of each poem. She clearly poured so much heart and meaning into every word, and truly bared herself and her personal emotional journey through this collection. I admire her candor and her nerve, opening herself up in this manner—and I very much believe that her writing can and will reach and impact plenty of readers.

2.5 TARDISes

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Mini Review: Send by Domenico Capilongo

sendSend by Domenico Capilongo

My Rating: 2.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: April 1st, 2017

Publisher: Guernica Editions

Pages: 110 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is a spoiler-free review.

Send is a collection of poetry that focuses on the many different forms of communication that we have in our world today. With the plethora ways we have to access each other these days, I felt like this would be very interesting and topical book of poems. But, though there were a few poems that did stand out to me, overall, I did not end up enjoying this particular collection. Every poet has their own style, and there is so much room for creativity in this form of writing. Because of this, not every style is going to click with every reader, and Capilongo’s style was just not for me.

Each poem in this collection is relatively short, which I found to be a good reflection of our condensed communications with one another over text, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Many are written using stream of consciousness, which is yet another hallmark of communication these days.

Capilongo touches on the jumble of thoughts we throw out into cyberspace, sometimes in a rather narcissistic way, and how technology can completely take over every action, every moment of our lives. He tells a relatable story in a very abstract format. And while all of this was quite entertaining, the majority of this collection just fell a bit flat for me. Personally, I found that a large portion of this poetry felt more like a random jumble of words, rather than a meaningful message. These poems did not click with me—they felt far too disjointed and at times unintelligible.

2.5 TARDISes

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Review: Doctor Who: System Wipe by Oli Smith

doctorwhosystemwipeDoctor Who: System Wipe by Oli Smith

My Rating: 2.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: November 19th, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK

Pages: 160 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: The Doctor finds himself trapped in the virtual world of Parallife. As he tries to save the inhabitants from being destroyed by a deadly virus, Amy and Rory must fight to keep the Doctor’s body in the real world safe from the mysterious entity known as Legacy . . .

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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is a spoiler-free review.

In this story, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory find themselves in 2222 A.D.—the end of the world, or one ending at least. When investigating a sole source of power in a completely empty and decimated Chicago, the Doctor enters and becomes trapped in the virtual world of Parallife. Here, the characters, who have been left behind by their players, have developed minds of their own and created a society. However, their way of life is threatened as a darkness approaches, wiping out everything in its path. Meanwhile, Amy and Rory have to escape destruction themselves, as a horde of robots move in to demolish what is left of the city.

I am rather conflicted in my feelings about this book. The concept for it was so interesting and would have easily made a fantastic episode of the television series. The idea of a virtual world controlled by abandoned characters who have each developed a consciousness holds an incredible amount of potential. Throw in a force that is systematically destroying that world and you have what should be a unique and intense ride.

This was a story that I desperately wanted to love, but I was very dissatisfied with a lot of it. I found this novel was lacking the suspense and intrigue that is characteristic of the Doctor’s adventures. I expected far more excitement than I got, and I ended up disconnecting from the story frequently. There were so many missed opportunities to create apprehension for the reader in both the real and virtual settings, and this caused me to have trouble becoming invested in any of it. I believe that part of it was due to the fact that this is not a full length novel. The concept of this plot is far too massive for the size of the story it was squeezed into.

Another of the main aspects of this novel that I had very mixed feelings about was the character depiction. Due to the length of the story, Smith is not given very much time to get the reader familiar with new characters. Despite this, he manages to create an intriguing and likeable cast that complement the story well. I thought that Blondie was a very good imagining of a video game character come to life. She was relatable because she acted in ways that any gamer would immediately recognize. Daryl was definitely my favorite addition. He was adorable and hilarious and very reminiscent of the type of side character typically seen in episodes of the show.

On the other hand, the depiction of the main trio left me a bit disappointed. I personally did not feel that Smith accurately portrayed these three characters that we all know so well. Something was off about them all the way through. Their actions and dialogue clashed with the personalities of the original television show versions, and that ended up breaking my immersion in the story. The characterization of the Doctor, Amy, and Rory is arguably the most important part of a novel like this, but unfortunately, I thought this was an area that Smith did not succeed in.

The writing itself was another aspect of the story that has caused me to have some mixed feelings. A lot of the writing is strong—Smith’s descriptions are fairly vivid and detailed, at least in the first half. At the start, I had a clear image of both the real and virtual worlds in my mind as I read. I enjoyed a lot of what Smith created, particularly in the world of Parallife.

However, I started to have some difficulty later on in the story. About halfway in, the imagery became a bit muddled for me, and I frequently struggled to make sense of it. This was frustrating, as I found that I could not sufficiently picture anything that was occurring. I also felt as though Smith did not take full advantage of the whole concept of the virtual world—it lacked the intrigue that I expected from it. While he described Parallife well, he did not utilize it to create a solid amount of suspense and tension in the plot.

Despite the negative reaction I had to a number of things in this novel, every once in a while, there was something thrown in that would make me love it. There were moments of great humor that made me laugh out loud. There were references that gamers like myself, especially fans of open world RPGs, could easily connect with and that made my nerdy self very happy. These things really pulled me back in and kept me going to the last pages.

In the end, though the concept for the plot was intriguing, the story as a whole ended up falling a bit flat for me. There were some ideas that I really loved, but the actual execution of those ideas left a lot to be desired. A story as short as this is always going to provide obstacles for the author in terms of building a world and carrying out a storyline, and I definitely think the length is the cause of a number of the issues I had with it. Overall, this was not a terrible book by any means. It could have been better, but even with the problems I had with it, I still found it to be a relatively entertaining read at times.

2.5 TARDISes

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